Friday, March 26, 2010

3/26/10 Midday Report: GDP revised down, Market revised up

The market is up again today and as far as Money McBags can tell the main reason is that it is open.  There was a flurry of economic data released today, all of it inline, further signalling the stagnation of the recovery from a potential V-shape to a Bea Arthur-esque flatline (which is of course because she's dead).  Consumer sentiment remained unchanged from the previous month at 73.6 which was slightly higher than economist guesses of 73 (we are told the Albanian judge scored it a 75 due to difficulty, imagination, and grace under pressure which helped drive up the score).  Fourth quarter GDP was revised downward for the third time proving that three times isn't always a charm (unless of course you're the Dahm triplets).  GDP for Q4 is now said to have grown at 5.6%, down from the last guess of 5.9%, and the initial guess of 5.7% growth.  Economists had expected it to be unchanged but they also expected markets to be efficient and the overvaluation of the financial sector in the 2000s and undervaluation of Hayley Atwell easily disprove that theory.  GDP was driven by business spend and exports with US consumers largely remaining keeled over in the fetal position hoping the mortgage man won't come touch them in their foreclosure.  Money McBags anxiously awaits GDP to be further revised next month, pehaps becoming just DP by dropping the barely politically correct and bad for its self-esteem, "Gross" moniker.  And Alan Greenspan is at it again.  The 84 year old pontificated on the threat of rising long-term interest rates on the housing market right after wife Andrea Mitchell changed his depends and cut his food into little pieces to make it easier for him to chew.  Greenspan said he is "very much concerned about the fiscal situation," because the "last boob in charge really fucked things up."  When he was reminded that he was that boob, he simply replied that he has always been a breast man.  His concerns about longterm rates rising are that they "will make the housing recovery very difficult to implement and put a dampening on capital investment as well” whereas holding them low indefinitely will only create a bubble and lead to one of the worst global recessions in history, so I guess you're damned if you don't and you're damned if you do, which describes the philosophy of Roman Polanski in a nut shell (though it's unclear how or why he would be in a nut shell).  But all is not despair as unemployment rates fell in 7 US states including Michigan where now only 14.1% instead of 14.4% of people are out of work.  Of course unemployment rose in 27 states, but that is just a minor detail, like remembering to pull the rip cord on your parachute or always remembering to check for an adam's apple.  Overall, unemployment held flat at 9.7% furthering driving home the sluggishness of the recovery.

Internationally, Greece is still fucked, though maybe a bit less fucked as the EU and IMF finally have come to some sort of nebulous agreement on a bail out plan until next week when they will likely start all over again.  The IMF and EU are respecting Greece's personal choices and allowing them to take their funds anyway they want by making the funds bi-lateral.

In US stock news, Radio Shack, or as it has been rebranded "The Shack" after it's first rebrand of "Irrelevant" didn't work is rumored to be in the process of selling themselves and is up 8%+ on that news.  The company is armed with $900MM of cash and thinks they are worth $3B which is about where they are currently trading.  Potential buyers include PE firms, Best Buy, and anyone else looking for outdated business models.  Seriously, Money McBags doesn't get Radio Shack.  They sell batteries and cable cords and wires when we are like 18 months away from everything being wireless.  If you want to buy a tv/stereo/computer, you go to the internet or Best Buy or Circuit City (and see that's funny, because Circuit City is no longer in existence, so you get my point), not to a RadioShack.  Money McBags is a bit flummoxed by this one, perhaps there is some real estate value but otherwise he can't think of one reason for a company like this to exist.

In small cap news, KITD is set to have their earnings call next week and Money McBags is expecting big things or at least updated guidance to reflect their Multicast deal.  If guidance is only 10% as positively surprising as logging on to the not safe for work and perhaps not even safe for home and seeing a video starring, Hannah Hilton and Faye Reagan (and yes, that happened today), then KITD should rally.  It's been a pretty quiet week in small cap world and Money McBags has been very busy so he apologizes for the lack of analysis.  He will be back next week breaking down more companies for you and trying to continue to find good values.

Until then, enjoy the weekend.

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